A joint meeting of the Utility and Finance Commissions was held on Tuesday. There was no substantive discussion of the partial sale, as the purpose was solely to hear the results of an electric rate study prepared by Public Resources Management Group for the City’s Vero Electric business. The rate study is an update of the cost of electric service, and determines for the City whether its electric rates are sufficient to cover its power and service expenses, and whether the rates charged various types of customers are in line with the costs to service those customers. The power point presentation lasted for over three hours, concluded that our rates were sufficient to cover our costs; suggested that some of our fees should be adjusted, but that in general, our cost of services were in line with the prices we charged each class of customer. Several bright people attended, and asked good questions about the supporting documentation for the rate study’s conclusions. Not a fascinating subject from everyone’s viewpoint.
The City has the power to set rates so that they are sufficient to recover both power and service costs. The City must demonstrate to the Public Service Commission (PSC) that its cost of service and charges are in line for each class of service. An updated study is required. The Utility and Finance Commissions recommended to the City Council that the rate study be accepted. If accepted by the City Council, the City can demonstrate to the PSC that its rates presently adhere to PSC regulations.
The City has many commissions besides the Finance and Utility commissions, in fact, ten more. These commissions are made up of about seven people each, some appointed by the city council, most volunteer to serve, with varying terms. Each commission recommends action to the City Council. This commission structure can be a real resource for the city council, as the commissions specialize in specific areas of the City’s business, often attract highly competent people with expertise and interest in the field, and can act as a reliable source of advice for the City Council. The City’s website has a list of the commissions, and if you have interest in serving, look on the website, or call the City Clerk.